Saturday, March 24, 2012

What's For Dinner?

I made this for dinner tonight, Vegan Cream of Broccoli soup.  It was so good!  I also made Mushroom Paninis.  The kids gobbled up the sandwiches and Steve gobbled up the soup.  I usually make the sandwiches once a week and they are a big hit.  I just clean and slice large portabella mushroom caps in thick slices and brush them with a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasonings.  Then I bake them at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Spread some artisan bread with olive tampenade, put some baby spinach on the sandwich, coat the outsides of the bread slices with olive oil and cook on the panini press.  So Delicious!

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

Mushroom panini

2 Satisfied Customers!

I thought that changing our diets so drastically might be hard, but I feel like we are eating more gourmet meals and they are so easy to make.  

Vegan Sweet Potato Lasagna

 The other night I made this for dinner, Sweet Potato Vegan Lasagna.  Who knew lasagna sans cheese could actually taste good?  I made a few tweaks to cater to our palate, but it was very good.  I even made a mini lasagna for my neighbor and they approved!
Looks pretty yummy huh!

Food Mill

 I want to say THANK YOU to my awesome in-laws, Sharon and Paul, who gave me this awesome food mill for Christmas!  What is a food mill?
This is a food mill.....
A food mill turns these.....

Into this!  Love it!


Homemade Almond Butter

I'm going to be posting some blog entries about food, from my family  blog.  So you may have already seen some of the upcoming posts :)

Putting my wonderful food processor to work, to make some almond butter.  

I love my food processor and found out recently that I could easily make nut butters by just putting the nuts in and letting the processor run for about 15-25 minutes.  Stopping it periodically to scrape the nuts off the sides.

There are many stage that the nuts go through before they are finished

I added about 1 and 1/2 teaspoons coconut oil and 1-2 tablespoons of flaxseeds and gave it a whirl.  At this point I made sandwiches for the kids.

Stevie liked it so much he asked for another (that's homemade peach jam too). 

Gees....I'm becoming quite the homemaker!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Almond Milk Made Even Easier

I recently did a post on making homemade almond milk.  I found out an easier way to strain the pulp and I thought I'd share.

   I was trying to figure out if it was really worth it do make my own almond milk.  I saved by just buying the almonds but then I had to buy cheesecloth, which you can really reuse and it's not exactly cheap.  So I googled cheesecloth alternatives and clicked on this link.  What a genius idea!  So I went out and bought some Gerber burp cloths and it worked perfectly.  It also helped that I strained it into my larger pyrex measuring cup with a wide opening.  I saved my pulp again and will try out a new recipe, I'm just not sure what I would like to use it for yet.

Just an FYI - I prefer making it with the 1 cup soaked almonds:4 cups water ratio.  I make 2 batches and add 1 tablespoon of honey and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to one of the batches.

Juicer Pulp Muffins

Delicious Juicer Pulp Muffins

I have a bit of a sweet tooth.  I've made some juicer pulp muffins before (I like to call them compost muffins).  My family loves them, but they just aren't sweet enough for me.  Here is a recipe I just created using juicer pulp from carrots, kale, rhubarb, celery, apples, pears, tomatoes, zucchini, lemon, cucumber and....well I'm not sure, just whatever I had in my fridge that I made juice from.  After juicing I usually put all the pulp in a glass container and store it in the fridge for a few days until I'm ready to use it.  This particular batch had mostly veggies.

Now I can have a sweet tooth and get some nutrition from it too!  And I don't have to waste all that wonderful organic juicer pulp.  

Compost Muffin Recipe
Dry ingredients
1+1/2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 cup brown sugar packed tight
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1+1/2 tsp cinnamon

Wet ingredients
2 cups juicer pulp
2 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce 
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4-1/2 cup carob chips or chocolate chips

Mix wet ingredients in one bowl and dry ingredients in another.  Once both are mixed separately, mix together.  Lightly grease muffin pan and fill up each tin with muffin mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick, inserted into middle of a muffin, comes out clean.  

For a little extra sweetness, I added about a 1/4 turn of Trader Joe's Cinnamon Sugar Grinder.  I used eggs, but I'm sure one could use an egg replacer.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guacamole Pasta

 Here's my recipe for Guacamole Pasta - which I had posted a previous picture of, but no recipe.  I've been trying to post a comment of what it was, but my blogger's been asking screwy and I haven't been able to post anything.  Well here it is.  Generally a concept, I'm not sure if I'm convinced that the recipe is perfected as of yet.  Steve thought there was too much cilantro, but the kids and I loved it.  So if you do not like cilantro, substitute it with parsley.  Steve has decided that he just does not like cilantro.  Also, this recipe is for 16 oz of pasta, but next time I probably won't make that much, probably half the recipe (halving everything except maybe the garlic, green onions and tomatoes).  This did reheat very well in the microwave the next day.

Guacamole Pasta

16 oz. whole wheat pasta
2 avocados
3/4 cup thick cashew cream
1 lemon freshly juiced
3 garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh cilantro (or parsley)
1/2 tsp pepper
2+1/4 tsp salt
5 stalks of green onions - diced
8 oz. grape tomatoes - sliced in half

Cook pasta according to package.  Blend avocados, cashew cream, lemon, garlic, cilantro, salt and pepper in vitamix or food processor.  Put everything in one serving pot, mix, and serve.

Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms

I bought some 8 oz. packages of mushrooms (buttons and bellas) and didn't really plan anything for them.  So I decided it was best to make some marinated mushrooms before they didn't get used at all.

Salt-Free Balsamic Marinated Mushrooms
3x8 oz packages of mushrooms
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons salt free all purpose seasoning (I use Simply Organic)
3 fresh minced garlic cloves (we like garlic)
juice from 1 freshly squeezed lemon

Mix extra virgin oil oil, balsamic vinegar, seasoning, garlic and lemon in a bowl big enough to add the mushrooms to.

 Start heating a pot of water to boil.  Wash and halve mushrooms. Then place mushrooms in pot and boil for 2 minutes.

Drain mushrooms then mix with the balsamic mixture.  Chill for at least 4 hours.  We ate them alone and also enjoyed them in wraps with hummus.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Almond Milk and An Interesting Use For the Nut Pulp

I soaked some organic raw almonds overnight in anticipation of making some homemade almond milk 

I googled some recipes and made this recipe first (minus the dates and vanilla) but made this recipe the second time.  I figured a 4:1 ratio recipe saves me some money.

Blending in the Vitamix

Straining with some cheescloth

Too small of an opening - the next time I strained it into a 4 cup glass Pyrex measuring cup

Homemade almond milk - it's been a big hit.  
 I saved the nut pulp from 3 batches.  It was 1 pound dried nuts which turned into about 3 cups soaked nuts - then strained into about 2 cups of almond nut meal.  So what to do with the pulp?  I googled nut pulp recipes and came across this.
So I made hummus.  It had a definite different texture.  I liked it better in a sandwich because the texture wasn't as apparent.  But it made me feel better not having to waste the nut pulp.  Next time I was thinking about putting it in some granola snacks.  I'm putting my recipe, I couldn't find my recipe book at the time, so I just put flavors together that I like.

Almond Nut Pulp Hummus

2 cups almond pulp
2 cloves garlic (it was pretty garlicky which I like)
juice of 1 lemon
10 tablespoons of water (started with 3 tbspn until I got a consistency I was happy with)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp dried cilatro
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Just put in food processor and blend.